Harper’s Canada very happy with Rio+20

rio+20Twenty years ago the World Scientists Warning to Humanity said;

If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.

In the same year the original Rio Summit attempted to chart a course to combat global warming and a range of other environmental harms and to protect biodiversity and the basic rights of people to such necessities as water.

Science has continued to warn and governments have continued to talk.

This year the United Nations released it’s Geo-5 Global Environmental Outlook and The Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner warned

If current trends continue, if current patterns of production and consumption of natural resources prevail and cannot be reversed and ‘decoupled,’ then governments will preside over unprecedented levels of damage and degradation,

And the world watched while the Rio+20 Summit failed, resulting in a vision statement that does not impose any responsibility to combat the threats we face.

Harper’s environment minister Peter Kent says he is “very happy, very satisfied” with the outcome of Rio+20. He says that his critics “are out of touch with reality”.

Mr Kent’s “reality”, the “reality” of Harper’s Conservatives, consists of the economy. An economy fueled by Tar Sands bitumen and where the ‘natural’ order of things requires perpetual and accelerating industrial growth. Their reality is a construct of society.

My reality consists of natural systems. Seasons, weather, the water cycle, food chains. Systems such as that whereby salmon leave rivers, grow large and strong on the energy of the seas, and return to the rivers of their birth to spawn a new generation and to fertilize the land and feed the creatures that live on it with the energy they bring in their flesh from the sea. Within my reality exist societies and those societies have economies.

Harper’s Conservatives’ reality is causing the destruction of my reality. My reality’s seasons are changing. It’s weather is getting increasingly extreme. Droughts, floods and fires take a growing toll as noted by the insurance industry. The sun becomes dangerous because of depletion of the ozone layer (again). Disease patterns change. Populations of living things are affected in differing ways, as noted by our forestry industry. Food chains are threatened. The oceans warm and become dangerously acidic. The chemistry of the atmosphere is threatened as ocean conditions bring about decline of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton that produce about half of the world’s oxygen. The salmon decline.

I work, such as I am able, to stop the harm that the Conservatives reality is doing to my reality. I believe that if my reality is harmed too much (which may already be the case), their reality will no longer have a place to exist.

For this work they call me an enemy. If I were really an enemy, I would stand aside and watch them proceed.

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